This guide will cover some of the most fundamental information for Affliction Warlocks in Arena.
Dark Regeneration is the strongest talent on the first tier. When used in conjunction with Healthstone, it is a powerful defensive tool for surviving enemy damage. This is due to Dark Regeneration increasing the healing received from Healthstone by 25%. This talent can be used to survive enemy damage in cases where your healer is not able to save you.
In most situations, Shadowfury is the best talent for the second tier. It is a versatile ability that can be used to chain CC, to peel, or to interrupt casts. It can be used to set up Fear casts on enemy healers by keeping the enemy player in place. When an interrupt isn’t available, it can be used to shut down enemy casts. This talent easily out performs Mortal Coil because of its ability to lock down multiple targets.
An alternative talent is Howl of Terror, which should be used almost exclusively while playing with Rogues. Because Rogue comps often rely on targets being off stun DR, Shadowfury isn’t the most optimal talent.
Affliction Warlocks rely heavily on their passive tankiness. Because of this, Soul Link is the best talent on the third tier. This talent offers a passive damage reduction and easily outperforms the other two options over the course of a long arena match. Sacrificial Pact and Dark Bargain rarely see play in 3v3 Arena and are generally only used in niche situations, such as in duels or in world PvP.
Unbound Will is the best talent on this tier against non-melee cleave teams. Having an additional CC break is really powerful in the current meta. Being able to break out of Polymorphs and Cyclones can allow you to peel for your teammates in high pressure situations.
Against teams with multiple melee DPS, Blood Horror can outperform Unbound Will. This is especially true if you are the kill target. In these situations, the HP loss from Unbound Will is too risky to warrant use.
Because of its raw damage increase and increased pet survivability, Grimoire of Supremacy is usually the best talent choice in this tier. Not only does this glyph cause your pets to deal more damage, it also empowers their special abilities (such as Spell Lock becoming Optical Blast).
Against teams that tend to do cleave damage to your pet, you should play with Grimoire of Sacrifice. This is especially true against other Affliction Warlocks, who will often keep DoTs rolling on all targets, including pets. Sacrifice allows you to benefit from your pet’s abilities without needing to have a pet summoned.
Archimonde’s Darkness is easily the strongest talent on this tier. Having two charges of your primary offensive cooldown opens up additional windows to build pressure and secure kills on enemy teams. This talent outperforms the other two options in a PvP setting.
For your last tier of talents, Soulburn: Haunt is really your only choice. It allows you to empower your damage over time effects on all targets, something which is extremely valuable for building spread pressure as an Affliction Warlock.
Standard Glyph Setup
Unlike most specs, Affliction Warlocks should never change their glyph setup. There is only one set of optimal glyphs that applies to every single matchup. The first is Glyph of Eternal Resolve. This glyph removes the ability to actively use Eternal Resolve as damage reduction and aura mastery, and instead grants 10% passive damage reduction. While this doesn’t seem like much, it pairs perfectly with Soul Link and contributes to your passive survivability. Glyph of Unstable Affliction is the second standard glyph for Affliction Warlocks. This glyph makes it significantly easier to cast Unstable Affliction by making it harder for the enemy to interrupt. The third and final standard glyph for Affliction Warlocks is Glyph of Soul Swap. This increases the duration that you can have DoTs inhaled. Doing so allows you to have cleaner swaps to targets over the course of an arena game.
The only necessary minor glyph for Affliction Warlocks is Glyph of Health Funnel. This glyph allows you to instantly heal your pet instead of needing to channel.
Your primary stat as an Affliction Warlock is Intellect. Intellect increases the damage done by all of your abilities.
Your important secondary stats are the following:
- Haste – decreases the casting time on all spells, reduces the time in between DoT ticks, and lowers the GCD
- Mastery – Mastery increases the damage done by Unstable Affliction, Agony, and Corruption.
- Critical Strike – causes damaging abilities to hit for 150% of their normal healing or damage dealt
- Multistrike – gives a chance to do extra damage for 30% of the total damage dealt by an ability.
- Versatility – increases all healing and damage dealt and reduces damage taken
Your stat priority for Affliction Warlock is as follows:
Intellect > Haste > Mastery > Versatility > Multistrike > Critical Strike
Enchants and Gear
Helmet: Warmongering Gladiator’s Cowl of Cruelty
Neck: Warmongering Gladiator’s Pendant of Prowess
Shoulder: Warmongering Gladiator’s Felweave Amice
Back: Warmongering Gladiator’s Drape of Prowess
Chest: Warmongering Gladiator’s Robes of Prowess
Wrist: Warmongering Gladiator’s Cuffs of Prowess
Gloves: Warmongering Gladiator’s Felweave Handguards
Belt: Warmongering Gladiator’s Cord of Victory
Legs: Warmongering Gladiator’s Trousers of Cruelty
Boots: Warmongering Gladiator’s Treads of Cruelty
Ring 1: Warmongering Gladiator’s Band of Cruelty
Ring 2: Warmongering Gladiator’s Band of Prowess
Trinket 1*: Warmongering Gladiator’s Accolade of Dominance
Trinket 2: Warmongering Gladiator’s Insignia of Dominance
Weapon: Warmongering Gladiator’s Battle Staff
Neck Enchant: Gift of Haste
Ring Enchant: Gift of Haste
Cloak Enchant: Gift of Haste
Weapon Enchant: Mark of Warsong